Wednesday 18th September 2019
Dear students, parents and carers,
Re: Campaign Against Climate Change
Many in our school community feel strongly about climate change and rightly so. You might know therefore that another young people’s protest in the Campaign Against Climate Change is scheduled for Friday 20th September.
As previously, this puts the School in a difficult position. On one hand, we respect our students’ passionate concerns about climate change and indeed the cause itself. On the other hand, if the School were to authorise absence from school for this, we would be agreeing to students missing important learning each time – and moreover, we agree to students taking part in a public protest without our supervision. We would be in a terrible position if something unpleasant or dangerous happened and the School had condoned, indeed encouraged students’ participation.
Every day in school is important for students’ learning, including new content, assessments and coursework. We all know that missing lessons puts students at a disadvantage. The administration and management of attendance around the protest is considerable, as is the additional teacher-time spent enabling students who miss lessons to catch up.
While we understand why some students might want to attend the next protest, we urge them not to and we would appreciate parents’ and carers’ support with this. Parents and carers: if your child does, with your permission, take part in the protest, please inform the School of their absence in the usual way.
I hope to have outlined here a clear picture of how the School both supports the climate change cause and needs also to fulfil its duty to deliver education and not agree to activities during school time over which we have no control.
Following this letter is some advice from the Metropolitan Police about the protests who are concerned about young people’s safety.